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10.27.11

IRC Proceedings: October 27th, 2011

Posted in IRC Logs at 7:40 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

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Microsoft Linux Marketing

Posted in Microsoft, Novell, OpenSUSE at 4:02 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Co-authored with XFaCE

Summary: Gold Microsoft Certified Partner Attachmate has a new strategy masquerading as “open” and “community” for earning volunteer labour while benefiting these two proprietary software companies

YESTERDAY, we spotted Attachmate/SUSE’s latest plea for volunteer labour towards developing Microsoft Linux. As always, we strongly urge people not to fall for these red herrings.

AttachMSFTThe mission of the original SUSE distro was to develop a “technically superior Linux distribution with the large number of employed engineers”. The ulterior motive of the Attachmate SUSE distribution, on the other hand, is about increasing Microsoft’s control and influence in GNU/Linux and FLOSS development. This is why Microsoft funnels money into the remnants of the original project. A new openSUSE release candidate is out to help entice peons for bug reporting. The SUSE conglomerate meanwhile is working to refine its marketing so as to distract more suckers towards this quasi-community. From this new openSUSE News post:

“Friday 16.09, while working on the openSUSE 12.1 marketing actions during the Marketing Hackfest, two of us had the spontaneous idea to suggest an interview to Michael Miller(Vice President of Global Alliances & Marketing for SUSE), asking him a few questions we could have in the openSUSE community. We did not have the time to go around, to find the FAQ or to choose the “best questions”. It was kind of “shall we do that, around a cup of coffee ? Why not ?”. And Michael Miller accepted our proposition, without any objection or any “joker’s need”.”

True proponents of GNU+Linux should not feel obligated nor pressed to help out Microsoft’s recommended (and patent-taxed) distribution. There are many other projects much more worthy of volunteer time and effort. Most of these other projects are not coordinated by people's on Microsoft payroll, either (indirectly).

Patents Roundup: Microsoft Patents PR, Red Hat/Groklaw’s Response, and Apple’s Slide to Unlock Thermonuclear War

Posted in Apple, GNU/Linux, Google, Microsoft, Patents at 3:49 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Rainbow troll

Summary: Microsoft pays more lobbyists to encourage software patents, Microsoft Jack defends racketeering, and Apple’s lust for patents becomes a serious issue

WITH THE seminal goal of pointing out and countering FUD, we are still naming people whom people should watch out for because of their funding sources or agenda.

One publisher that we mention quite a lot is IDG (parent of IDC). It appoints Microsoft boosters to run an “open source” blog and it shows. Julie, for example, is their latest writer to do a Ubuntu FUD marathon, succeeding Tony in a sense (he did that some months ago for 30 consecutive days). Julie also runs the Microsoft blog and has run it for years. It’s where she comes from and where she still writes primarily. Not so long ago she trolled Jim Zemlin in her headline. We wish we could keep the credibility index up to date, but people whom we add to it choose to feel insulted and then smear us, which makes it a somewhat unwise strategy. Julie is not alone in this. The pro-Microsoft bloggers from IDG (pretending to be pro-FOSS) carry on bashing Ubuntu in another new IDG marathon of Ubuntu FUD and now Android FUD too (using patents against Android). Expect more of the same. We wrote about those writers before, One of those Microsoft boosters from the same network is now infecting Ars Technica. People who are unfamiliar with his past repertoire will not understand that there is bias there. Unsuspecting readers tend to be unaware of affiliations and they can only ever assume that a writer on a particular topic has no conflict of interest. It is bad enough when publication get misused for promoting one’s agenda; it’s even worse when these get misused to attack the opposition’s agenda, under the veil of “objectivity” or “journalism”. This applies to both sides and there is no hypocrisy here. Most people probably know that Intellectual Ventures, for example, is very much tied to Microsoft and also to Lodsys, whose attacks by proxy on Android are not being overlooked by Groklaw, whose new editor does have a little conflict of interest because of the funding sources of Peer to Patent. None of this is secret and in his latest post he tackles Lodsys’ attack on Android (among others), summarising as follows:

New York Times v. Lodsys

This case has been dismissed without prejudice by the consent of the parties and by order of the court. New York Times v. Lodsys (N.D. Ill.) (38 [PDF; Text]) The Eastern District of Texas case between these parties remains pending.

OpinionLab v. Lodsys

As with the New York Times case, the parties have stipulated to a dismissal with prejudice of this case, OpinionLab v. Lodsys (N.D. Ill.). (45 [PDF; Text]) The Eastern District of Texas case between these parties remains pending.

ForeSee v. Lodsys

Instead of a dismissal, in ForeSee v. Lodsys (N.D. Ill.) the parties have stipulated to a transfer of venue of this case to the Eastern District of Wisconsin where several other DJ actions remain pending against Lodsys. (45 [PDF; Text]) As a part of the stipulation, Lodsys has retained its right to seek a further transfer of venue to the E.D. Texas where Lodsys’s complaint against ForeSee remains pending. The other interesting point in this stipulation is that Lodsys has stipulated that ForeSee’s DJ action could have been brought in the Eastern District of Wisconsin, which should help the other DJ plaintiffs in that venue (Wolfram, RightNow).

LivePerson v. Lodsys

The one case still remaining in the E.D. of Illinois is the LivePerson declaratory judgment action against Lodsys.

Over in Europe, following the distasteful decision in the UK [1, 2, 3, 4, 5] there are British patent lawyers who smell the pounds and encircle software developers like vultures, saying:

This piece is not about what happens should you lose your mind and decide to perform a zany, dangerous practical joke at the Hearing Officer’s expense. No, the “mental acts” the IPKat is concerned with are those mentioned in Article 52(2)(c) EPC among the exclusions from patentability, which were recently considered in the Halliburton decision from HHJ Birss QC (reported here).

British patent lawyers will find new victims to leech in their parasitical ways. It is sad, but there is not much that can be done about it other than protest. The plutocrats still write the laws that govern our lives and if multinationals along with their lawyers (lawmakers and politicians are usually lawyers) decide to screw over 99% of the population, they will.

This is not pure speculation. Watch how Microsoft pays Microsoft Florian to help them bamboozle politicians, gaming the system for some money. Yes, Microsoft pays him to do this (a bit like passing a bribe for the work he has done, under the guise of “consulting contract”) and the same goes for the Business Software Alliance (BSA), which we now learn is lobbying again for software patents in Europe.

According to the president of the FFII, the BSA makes its move:

BSA lobbyist writing “studies” for the European Commission on software patents and standards ur1.ca/5i2it

The BSA is a Microsoft front group. There is also this subsequent update:

BSA lobbyist Benoit Muller writing “studies” for the European Commission on software patents and standards ur1.ca/5i2it

Microsoft Jack — just like Microsoft’s lobbyists — promotes Microsoft racketeering in blog comments in ZDNet right now. Apparently these people are not taught ethics in journalism school, so the cult of Microsoft comes first. We oughtn’t allow people like Microsoft Jack ‘normalise’ racketeering, making it described as a standard procedure in the “real world”. Some of those Microsoft lobbyists have a hard task of making crime seem like “business as usual”.

This is something that we wrote about earlier this week and last week. It’s like some sort of PR campaign and Jay from the 451 Group tries to look at the glass half full by writing this iffy response:

There’s been a lot of attention on the amount of money Microsoft is making from Android, including Microsoft’s own proclamations. Maybe it’s just that I’m more of a fan of Linux and open source software, or maybe I’m overly focused on the lawsuits and threats against Android, but I see serious downsides to all of those dollars for Microsoft from Android.

I believe Microsoft’s strategy to pursue patent licensing deals rather than sue, as we’ve seen from Apple, may prove to be a more effective strategy. Rather than limit or destroy Android, Microsoft is actually supporting its growth, meaning more Android devices and users in the market. Since it’s making so much money from Android, Microsoft may be less interested in limiting or attacking it, so that’s a benefit to Android. However, I do see some significant drawbacks to Microsoft’s Android strategy, all of which serve to limit Microsoft’s opportunity in the future.

Agree or disagree with Jay, what Microsoft does is extortion and it should be reported for the authorities to handle as soon as possible. This really requires US intervention because Microsoft is a US-based company. But need we hold our breath while the vast majority of Americans believe that money buys results and companies do whatever they want with their elected/appointed government?

We keep seeing patent promotion in press releases, vanity posts and announcements, realising perhaps that while the corporate press (with propaganda like this from Bloomberg) help reinforces an industry where ideas are”property” and are to be monopolised, then “sold” or “licensed”. This is the same corporate press which calls sharing “piracy” and refuses to accept that there is another perspective which is legitimate and even plausible.

There is news right now about Klausner (a patent troll) suing Oracle and HP over ideas. Red Hat is meanwhile sharing some thoughts on the software patents situation in the United States. Its blogger/staff writes:

Last week, I participated in a panel discussion at the Eastern District of Texas/Federal Circuit Joint Bench-Bar Conference in Dallas. The Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit is the specialized appellate court for patent cases. My panel was on corporate counsel opinions of patent litigation and recent judicial and legislative patent reform. The discussion was moderated by Judge Richard Linn of the Federal Circuit. It was a great opportunity to present some views of the patent system, and to provide options for improvement to the very people who can enact judicial change.

In my remarks, I pointed out that while there have been some significant judicial changes over the last five years (regarding damages, injunctions, obviousness, indirect infringement, and willfulness), much is still needed. As my colleague Rob Tiller has repeatedly discussed software patents exact considerable costs to innovation in this country. Although we are still waging the war on patent coverage for software, other battles are also in play, which I present here.

Tiller and his colleague are sadly enough not proposing the elimination of all software patents. Maybe they just don’t want to aim this high in an event which is clearly affected by the cult of patents, to which Apple sites mostly subscribe (because the cult of Apple says so). Apple’s patents boosters still worship Steve Jobs’ patents while Android sites voice concerns about Apple’s “slide to lock” patent, arguing: “Using the words “convoluted” or “confusing” to describe the patent battles going on in the mobile space might be going a little easy on them. Everywhere it seems companies are suing one another over anything they can think of, while others collect license fees from device and software makers just looking to avoid ending up in court. Just about everyone owns a small number of the patents necessary to create a smartphone or a tablet, and they’re all constantly at war over them.

“But a new patent just awarded to Apple brings a whole new level of pain to the game. According to a story from ZDnet, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office just issued Apple a patent for a design feature that’s found on every iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad, as well as just about every single Android device currently in existence: “slide to unlock.”

“This is the feature on touchscreen devices that requires users to “unlock” the device by sliding a thumb over a specific section of the screen, where it looks like they’re moving a button from one position to another. The slide feature has been widely adopted because it’s both simple and genius – it’s hard to accidentally unlock your phone in your pocket and start making inadvertent calls with the “slide to unlock” feature in place.”

Apple has gone too far and Techrights takes this very seriously because Steve Jobs’ made it his top goal to obliterate Android/Linux. For a guy who disowned his daughter by lying about being “sterile”, Steve Jobs is far too widely admired. His real legacy, as far as we are concerned, is a "thermonuclear" patent war that harms Linux.

Links 27/10/2011: Chrome 15 is Out, Mozilla Sells Out to Microsoft

Posted in News Roundup at 9:30 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

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Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Frozen In One Place While Everything Moves Forward

    He was basically telling me that I, or people in my age group, had become old, and stuck in one place. Not an insult either, but a clear fact. If you remember back when you were younger you should remember when things changed all the time in your life and you easily accepted it. Not just accepted it, enjoyed it and looked towards tomorrow for more. Sure, this isn’t everyone, but the majority.

  • Desktop

  • Kernel Space

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • Some Attractive Wallpapers For Your Linux Desktop

      Here are a few great wallpapers available for download at GnomeLook.org. First and foremost is the debian chick, this gorgeous babe is the perfect addition to any desktop. Unfortunatelty those curves may cause you to miss a project deadline or two.

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • KDE Password And User Account Settings
      • Calligra 2.4 Beta

        The Calligra team is proud and excited to release the third beta version of the Calligra Suite. Since the start of the Calligra effort, we have had a long and very productive development phase. In the mean time we have released four snapshot versions, also known as alphas, to give the users a chance to see what we are doing.

    • GNOME Desktop

  • Distributions

    • New Releases

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat Is Red Hot Right Now

        Red Hat posted a surge of 28% in quarterly revenues over the past year, which drove net income up a whopping 69%. This staggering growth was mainly because of enormous demand for its open-source solutions everywhere, especially in the financial services sector and local, state, and federal governments. Moreover, Red Hat’s customers have been looking to modernize their data center infrastructure. This helped in growing revenues and highlighted customer loyalty. High demand for Red Hat’s services, low service charges, and excellent reliability drove revenue growth.

      • The Perfect Server – CentOS 5.7 x86_64 [ISPConfig 2]
      • Red Hat talks ahead of Linuxcon keynote

        Tim Burke is the VP of Linux technology development at Red Hat. He spoke to us about the power of free software, what he thinks is the best thing about Linux and what it might be used for in the future.

      • Fedora

        • Secondary Fedora is hiring

          Red Hat is hiring a Fedora release engineer with primary focus on the PowerPC platform, where he/she will prepare the testing and final releases, work on the build system infrastructure, work with architecture maintainers on package build failures and much more.

    • Debian Family

      • m23 rock 11.4 is ready!

        We’ve done it! m23 rock 11.4 is ready – and now Debian Squeeze is available as an additional client distribution and TDE (which can be seen as a continuation of KDE3) was added to the list of desktop interfaces to choose from.

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu 11.10 Experience on Dell D610

            First off, I would like to congratulate Ubuntu team for releasing another milestone of a good Linux distribution. It is such a big project which requires great balance between schedule, functionality, level of polish and quality.

            On the polish, I really like the new theme, it fits well to my taste.

          • Planning Ubuntu 12.04

            I love planning a new Ubuntu release. It’s a great experience to take a few steps back and look at the biggest challenges and opportunities in your area of interest and try to identify the most promising.

          • Disunited

            If you want a shiny barely-customizable straitjacket as a desktop environment, go buy a Mac. Please stop wrecking Ubuntu.

          • Ubuntu 11.10 review

            At the end of the upgrade process, I had changed an existing installation of Ubuntu 11.04 with a core of Linux kernel 2.6.38 to one running Ubuntu 11.10 with a core of Linux kernel 3.0.0, with no loss of existing data. Very nice. Though I did not backup my data because there was no useful data on the system, it is always a good idea to keep a backup of your data before an upgrade. You just never know.

          • White Screen of Death

            Remember the good old days when Windows had problems with the “Blue Screen of Death.” Years later, XBox followed with its “Red Ring of Death.” Now, it’s Ubuntu turn, what others are coining as the “White Screen of Death.”

            Yesterday, I upgraded to Ubuntu 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot. Prior to the upgrade, I was using Ubuntu 11.04 and the Gnome desktop (not Unity). Somehow, for some reason, when I upgraded to Ubuntu 11.10, it wiped out my Gnome default environment and switched me back to Unity. Argh!

          • United for Unity alternatives

            Having said this, allow me a Captain Obvious moment to say that folks have different tastes, likes and dislikes, which in the final analysis boils down to a subjective smorgasbord of opinion rather than any resemblance to objective fist-bearing, knuckle-bashing fact.

            I loathe Unity with a heat of a nova, but some people absolutely love it to the ends of the earth. And that’s great, but it’s not for everyone. What about those Ubuntu users who don’t like Unity because it’s a brain-numbing, unintuitive desktop environment that’s has a my-way-or-highway range of tweakability (or do I overstate it?), or what about an Ubuntu user who can’t use it because they’re using older hardware?

          • Canonical upping desktop support for its next Ubuntu LTS to 5 years

            Ever since Ubuntu shipped its first long-term-support release, the 6.06 Dapper Drake (one of my all-time favorites by the way), the distro’s LTS editions have enjoyed three years of support on the desktop and five years on the server.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Android

        • DROID RAZR Pre-Orders Start Tomorrow at 8AM, Will Ship “No Later” Than November 10

          Verizon pinged us this morning with a reminder that the pre-order period for the DROID RAZR starts tomorrow at 8AM, giving potential owners a chance to jump on the device early for $299 on contract. Up until now though, we had no idea when you would expect to see that order since Big Red and Motorola decided not to give us an actual release date last week at the RAZR event. According to this reminder email, it looks like November 10 is the latest you will see it.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Events

  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

      • Chrome 15 released with… improved start page

        Google has rolled out version 15 of Chrome to its “stable” channel. The update brings some minor cosmetic changes, including a slightly cleaner new tab page, and Google has also redesigned the Chrome Web Store with a simpler layout.

      • Google Releases Chrome 15 Stable for Linux

        The Google Chrome developers at Google proudly announced last night, October 25th, the immediate availability for download of the stable
        and final release of the Google Chrome 15 web browser for Linux platforms.

    • Mozilla

  • Licensing

    • GPL or BSD License: Confusion Galore

      I started with the notion that GPL should always be used in open source software. I also thought that releasing software under BSD license was letting others take advantage of your hard work without giving anything in return; a highly unfair practice. My thoughts have changed a bit. You can read all about the regurgitated pros and cons all over the Internet. I’m looking to introduce a new perspective, if I can.

  • Programming

Leftovers

  • Security

  • Finance

    • Wall St. Giants Seek a Piece of Nigeria’s Sovereign Fund

      Nigeria, the West African nation that has gained notoriety for the illicit e-mail spammers aiming for Western bank accounts, is attracting attention for legitimate financial opportunities — investing its own savings.

      In an effort to preserve and increase its oil revenue, the country recently established a so-called sovereign wealth fund, following the path of many resource-rich countries. Now, Wall Street titans like Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and JPMorgan Chase are courting top government officials, aiming to grab a piece of a portfolio that could eventually be worth tens of billions of dollars.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Herman Cain’s New Internet Campaign Ad Promotes Smoking

      Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain’s new internet ad features a tight head shot of his campaign’s “chief of staff,” Mark Block, telling viewers how great Cain will be for the country and how much confidence he has in Cain.

Feeding the Mentally Ill

Posted in Site News at 5:01 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

TrollSummary: How to deal — bar censorship — with Internet trolls who by their own words (and record) have mental disorders

IT HAS been over a year since time was last wasted on trolls by making a blog post. This was done mostly in 2009 when trolling peaked and even included agents of Microsoft, who disclosed they were working for Microsoft after some pressure, whereupon we filed a complaint that was answered by the FTC.

I am not fond of the term “mentally ill” because it implies deformity of dysfunction in something which is anatomically very unique (neurons), but some past trolls who dedicated a considerable amount of their time to attacking yours truly and this Web site in fact suffered some psychological issues for which there is a formal record and a long history. We are not going to name names.

“We never practised censorship or deletionism in almost 5 years of running the site (this is one of our strengths), but just the right to speak does not warrant a privilege for response.”We never practised censorship or deletionism in almost 5 years of running the site (this is one of our strengths), but just the right to speak does not warrant a privilege for response. We banned one account of a mental case who was issuing nasty threats against readers and editors of the site. Intimidation is where one crosses the line and it’s no longer just trolling. We need to filter mentally, not technically. Or rather, freedom of speech is not the right to an audience. So we ask readers to please refrain from responding to trolls. It is a waste of everybody’s time and it gives the trolls exactly what they want and provoke for. It encourages more of the same.

Mental illness is not an illness per se, but it causes problems in society, which is why some of us are considered safer when psychopaths are locked up are looked after, unable to harass the society around them. They do not commit any crime, but stalking does have some special rules while some of the deranged people spread libel deliberately and then link to this libel to help ‘validate’ it. Such people are unfit to live with the civilisation surrounding them and this is why mental institutions exist.

People who have read this site for a few years will probably know who we are referring to here. There was an infamous ACCESS troll and others who are mentally ill, with documents, eager to dedicate their entire life to battling people, not massive corporations that break the law. Some of them launch entire Web sites just to attack one person (or 20 Web sites to attack just a handful of people and post pornographic photos of them). For such people to roam the Web is a licence to abuse, having gone in and out of the psychiatrists, then into this blog, IRC channels, etc. with the intent of poisoning it all. One of them, in his own words says that “based on my anxiety disorder I have seen a number of professionals.”

When running Techrights it is better to concentrate on the issues rather than spend time on mental cases and people who are compulsively obsessed with what the site says. Therefore it will be the last kind request that we should just ignore the trolls. They are not being responded to not because they are right but because they are trolls. And just the existence of this post will probably make them excited and well fed for a while.

IRC Proceedings: October 26th, 2011

Posted in IRC Logs at 4:29 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

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